• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

First World War

Extracts from this document...


First World War Coursework The First World War began in August 1914 with Germany against the Allies of Britain, France, Russia and Belgium. When war began the Germans put the Schlieffen Plan into operation. The idea was knock France out first by sending troops through Belgium and then send troops to the Russian front. However, neither the Belgians nor the Russians did what the Germans expected. This led to the war becoming static for 3 years. Many thought the First World War would be a 'war of movement' and over by Christmas. Instead enthusiastic troops were stuck in trenches in a stalemate, which was to effectively last 3 years. Only in 1918 was there a considerable change in warfare and a breakthrough made. The Western Front ground to a halt at the end of 1914. Mainly due to the Schlieffen Plan. Whilst the Plan was successful at first however, unexpected Belgian resistance and the British Expeditionary Force drove Von Moltke to move his troops off course and instead of surrounding Paris they were coming in from the east. Impetus slowed as Germans advanced into Paris with food and ammunition shortages. Russia mobilised much more quickly than the Germans expected so Moltke sent 100,000 troops to the Eastern Front. France had a chance to counter-attack. ...read more.


They tried no imaginative ways to overcome problems and thinking their troops only capable of simple tasks when many were more intelligent. The Allies did not co-operate, each wanting to make the breakthrough themselves. Better results may have been achieved if co-operation came earlier than in 1918. From the beginning of the stalemate to the end there were many changes to warfare to try and break the stalemate. However some tactics used were never changed and never worked. There was always trench warfare throughout the war causing it to be static. In April 1915 the Germans used poisonous chlorine gas for the first time. Poisonous gas was effective as it opened a 9km gap in the Allied lines, but was unreliable because gas could change direction depending on the wind direction and many soldiers had gas masks to avoid suffocation. This was a change of warfare but not decisive enough to win the war and so it was still stalemate. As the war was a stalemate on the Western Front, the Allies attacked at Gallipoli to find a resolution to the stalemate. However this was not successful. The 'War of Attrition' began in 1916 with the Battles of Verdun and the Somme. Attrition was a new idea of winning the war by wearing out the enemy until they had no resources left and would have to end the war. ...read more.


However, Lundendorff sent in too many men too fast, with the army exhausted and no reserves. The Germans rapid advance had made a salient rather than breaking the line. The Allies finally had co-operation, with Commander Foch in charge leading an efficient counter-attack on 8th August 1918, Lundendorff calling it "The Black Day". The British used tanks successfully as they were more reliable and led infantry through barbed wire, advancing 8 miles in 1 day driving the Germans back. By September the whole line was moving, because of new tactics similar to the Germans. They attacked with rapid blows, not a big punch. German morale was low after they didn't get what the generals had promised them and they saw British had better supplies when they were starved. On 11th November, Germans signed an armistice ending the war. 1918 was more like 1939-1940 than 1914. The changes, resulting from new tactics and new technology in weaponry, in 1918 broke the stalemate and finally ended the war. 1918 was a different kind of warfare because of new tactics used by both sides to overwhelm the enemy, with the Allies gaining the advantage in the end. In 1926, General Foch was right in saying, "The military mind always imagines that the next war will be on the same lines as the last. That has never been the case, and never will be." ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. How Was The Stalemate Finally Broken?From Christmas 1914 until March 1918 there had been ...

    The surrender of Russia gave them a good opportunity. The Germans put into action the "Ludendorff Offensive." The Germans started shelling and gassing the British. But instead of sending a "wave" of infantry they sent small highly trained "storm troopers" who attacked during a heavy fog along the entire front.

  2. Reasons why the satalemate broke

    The British used their submarines to blockade the German ports, to stop boats going in and out. However this use I will look at, when I cover the blockading of German ports. Also aircraft was used in this war and considering the first aircraft flight was in 1903 and had

  1. The development of a Stalemate

    and were able to cut down lines of attackers; this caused thousands of casualties and reduced the chances of success of a direct attack on enemy trenches. The use of machine guns caused stalemate on their own as it was impossible for an army to attack without suffering heavy casualties at the hand of machine guns.

  2. In the wars, Robert Rose is a very significant character.

    BIRDS page seventy-five The birds leave a feeling of shock to Robert and the other soldiers. They are surprised that the birds survived the attacks. The birds are not seen and it is unclear what type of bird it is.

  1. How did warfare change between November 1914 and March 1918?

    So they had to resort to ancient methods of communication such as messenger boys to give instructions to the front line. This was also a problem because this made them targets by the enemy. Behind the front line it was easy to communicate but getting information to the front line

  2. “For 3 years from the end of 1914 to early 1918, the Western Front ...

    If these Generals could practice fighting this way using new training methods then maybe they would have seen the sheer power of these dangerous weapons then they could plan offensives accordingly. The problem was that there was only one place for the Generals to try out tactics and offensives, and that was on the battlefield.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work